The Cleveland County Board of Elections has announced that filing for offices that will be voted on in 2016 began Yesterday December 1, 2015 at Noon and will run through noon, Monday, December 21, 2015. So, if you want to run for office you had better get your stuff together immediately and run it down to the Board of Elections Office at 215 Patton Drive in Shelby. Remember, 2016 is a Presidential Election Year and turnout is likely to be high. 50,000 Cleveland County voters will not stay home like they did on Election Day 2015.
Four Republican candidates for County Commissioner signed up yesterday ensuring a Republican Primary Election for that office on March 15, 2016. The three incumbent Republican candidates, Johnny Hutchins, Ronnie Hawkins and Susan Allen were challenged by Republican Douglas Gene Bridges from Shelby. Many citizens unhappy that Hutchins, Hawkins and Allen gave away the Hospital and the Old Courthouse, basically for nothing, are already saying they will single shot vote for Bridges. Hopefully other Republican candidates for Commissioners will also sign up. Democrat Mary Accor, a former Commissioner has indicated she will also file to run for a Commissioner seat. There are three commissioner seats up for election this year.
Democrat Debi Harrill filed for the office of Register of Deeds yesterday at noon. This office has not been contested in recent years while held by Democrat Bonnie Reese, who has mostly ran unopposed. With Reese not running this year, this elected office may be contested by Republicans and other Democrats. Debi Harrill will likely make a formidable candidate as she is well known and well liked all around Cleveland County. Her husband, Freddie Harrill, was a big wheel in Democrat Senator Kay Hagan’s failed one term in the US Senate. Mrs. Harrill may be well advised to ask Mr. Harrill to be seen but not heard during this election cycle.
Other news and scuttlebutt is Justin Brackett, an attorney in the Law Office of Tim Moore-Speaker of the House, has been credited with saying he will file to run for a District Court Judgeship. You have to file in Raleigh for that office. Attorney Justin Brackett presently works on Cleveland County Government (DSS) cases according to information previously received under the Freedom of Information Act. This will likely re-open the controversy of allegations that former County Attorney Bob Yelton being fired to make way for Commissioner Chairman Jason Falls’ first cousin Tim Moore being hired as the present County Attorney. Many people, including myself, believe that Jason Falls’ and Tim Moore’s blood relationship had nothing to do with the hiring of Tim Moore, but that Democrat Commissioner Eddie Holbrook was the mastermind of that effort to hire Tim Moore in order to get inside influence in Raleigh on so called economic development projects. Some, including myself, believe this inside influence may also lead to these economic development projects financially rewarding Holbrook and Moore more that the taxpayer whose tax dollars finance the incentives that will be given to the businesses associated with the project. We will be looking into that. If there is no such unethical behavior, we will report it. If there are indications of unethical behavior, we will report that too.
Folks, Stay tuned for all the news about the 2016 Political issues and elected offices to be filled. We urge all who believe they can do a better job than those now in office, please file and run for the office of your choosing. But remember, filing for these 2016 elections begins here in December 2015.